Está en la página 1de 5

Greek Lives Matter

Dear Editor,
What increases involvement on campus as well as off, encourages
and achieves high levels of community service, and encourages students
to hold themselves to the highest of standards? If you guessed URI Greek
life, you guessed correct. So if URI Greek life has done all this, why the
bad rep? I am here today to address the problematic issue of negatively
stereotyping the Greek life community at Universities and colleges
throughout the nation, particularly here at URI. My name is Erika Berglund
and I am Junior attending the University of Rhode Island. I am involved in
Greek life on campus and my goal is to diminish the negative stigmas
attached to the Greek community while upholding the positive values and
morals it embodies.
The claim, supported by research conducted by the Addiction
Center, that Greek affiliated members are more likely to abuse alcohol and
drugs is predisposed and feeble-minded. Majority of students in college
engage in underage drinking and drug use, regardless of their affiliation to
the Greek community. A survey done by the National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism found that almost 60 percent of college students
ages 18-22 drank alcohol in the past month, and almost 2 out of 3 of them
engaged in binge drinking during that same timeframe. Greek Life is an
easy target to pin a notorious issue of binge drinking in college on. If

anything, members of your own sorority or fraternity can help guide you in
your experimental stages to ensure your safety is a priority. The idea of
sisterhood and brotherhood is a highly ranked value that Greek life
embodies and is one of the most imperative aspects of the community to
withhold. By becoming a member of the Greek community, you will meet
people who will grow to become your closest friends; those who will cheer
you on when youre successful and who will support you when the going
gets tough. Lifelong friendships and associations are made through active
participation in a Greek organization.
Hazing and partying stories make the headlines, but what about
fundraisers and philanthropy events? Sororities and fraternities raise an
average of $7 million annually and donate 850,000 hours towards their
philanthropies and other charitable causes, according to Elite Daily.
Hosting these events not only help the organizations being donated to, but
also they help to improve the school and students abilities overall; Greek
alumni account for 75% of all total college and university donations.
Students learn to improve their leadership and interpersonal skills as well
as coordinating events amongst peers that help facilitate possible tasks in
future careers. The Greek community offers unique opportunities to lead
and interact with their peers, skills that may not be acquired outside of a
Greek life organization. These organizations are self-governing and rely on
the talents of their members for success. If you are a member of the

executive board in your organization, many skills such as timemanagement, budgeting, and event planning are learned and can help in
future endeavors.
The idea of saying members involved in Greek life pay for their
friends is absurd and quite frankly juvenile. Negative stigmas, such as this,
are pressed on the faces of many sororities and fraternities with no
reasoning behind their claims. Yes, there is a membership fee and monthly
dues. However, this is claiming that since I joined an organization, I was
unable to make my own friends and these friendships are now automatic
and obligatory. Does that same statement account for other organizations
and clubs that require a monthly fee as well? It seems to me only Greek
life gets pinned with the paying for friends notion. In addition, there is no
contract or guideline I was forced to abide by that claimed the friendships I
made and continue to make are automatic or obligatory. If there were, I
wouldnt be involved. The friendships created are ultimately up to the
individual regardless of the organization you chose to become involved
with. I, along with my sisters, have never been forced to be friends with
anyone nor would I want to be involved in an organization that forces that
down my throat.
Furthermore, the Greek community is a network in itself. Being a
member of a sorority or fraternity can wreak many benefits for future
careers and employment. Not only does it teach students valuable

interpersonal skills, it can also allow us to learn how to deal with people we
may not be too fond of; situations we may be facing in our future careers.
The skills acquired throughout the Greek community are enough to
overturn the negative stigmas acquired over the years. It has even been
found that 85% of Fortune 500 executives were apart of Greek life,
meaning the networking possibilities and connections are extremely
prevalent. Many Greek alum have has such a great experience within their
own Greek organization that they are more than willing and excited to help
out a fellow Greek by any means.
Greek life will be pinned with these detrimental negative stigmas
until progression is made. It is imperative to not focus on the potential
negatives from an organization but to look at the plethora of benefits the
members and community are experiencing as a result. Greek life
encourages building strong relationships, giving back to the community,
learning valuable life skills, and so much more. Ultimately, its up to the
students to define their reputations regardless of the community they
connect with. However, it is up to you to not succumb to the negative
stigmas that have unfortunately been pinned on the Greek life community.
I, along with over 2,500 students at URI, would extremely appreciate the
opportunity to be observed in a positive light that exemplifies the positive
values we strive to instill in our daily lives.

Thank you for your time,

Erika Berglund